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The SciArt6 Tours!

This spring, my environmental performing troupe, The SciArt6, has some touring gigs in upstate NY.  We’ve got some fresh work!  We have new pieces focusing on environmental racism.  We’re also updating our sketch comedy with the latest from the Paris accords and the TPP. See http://jenniferjoyonline.com/sciart6 for the latest!

Telling Evolution Stories via Hip Hop and Comedy

What’s the most effective way to teach junior high and high school students about science?  Long, droning lectures?  Or by using comedy, characters and hip hop-style vocal sound effects?? My collaborator, Benu Muhammad, and I think students learn best when they’re having fun.  So we’re doing a podcast series that’s playful and funny – and we’re doing it in a professional sound studio, so we can really pull in educators.  Please support us here: http://igg.me/at/evolutionpodcast/x/11656877 Thanks!

Improv for STEM Presenters: High School Edition

I had a terrific time this past Saturday with the high school students in the DC Environmentors program.  These folks pair a scientist-mentor with a high school student interested in science, especially environmental science.  The students work on science projects for local, state and national science fairs. I was incredibly impressed by these students.  They’re smart, creative and expressive.  They are also very quick learners!  They learned the concepts around effective presentations more quickly than most adults I’ve taught!  Here’s what they had to say about the workshop:  

Lise Meitner: A Passion for Physics

Ever since I read E=mc2, A Biography of the World’s Most Famous Equation, I’ve been fascinated with Lise Meitner. Born in 1878 in Vienna, this Jewish woman overcame extraordinary prejudice against educated women, and the even greater prejudice against women in science, to become one of the world’s most remarkable physicists. Her crowning achievement came not when she was in her 20’s, like so many genius male scientists, but rather, at 59 years old, after a narrow escape from Nazi Germany. Lise’s Childhood: A Love for Education Lise’s father was a lawyer, and there were always other lawyers, legislators and writers … Read more

Barbara McClintock, Genius Geneticist and Gender Subversive

From the beginning of her life, Barbara McClintock knew she was different. Born in 1902 in Hartford, CT, she was never content being a “good girl”, or later, becoming “ladylike”.  She loved to play sports with the boys, and she relished learning, even those most “unladylike” subjects, math and science. Luckily, Barbara’s parents were themselves mavericks.  They encouraged her to be fully herself.  When a neighbor woman tried to lecture Barbara on being “ladylike”, Barbara’s mother immediately called her and told her in no uncertain terms never to speak to Barbara again. Barbara’s parents prized the individuality of all their … Read more

“Get Inspired: Four Brilliant Women Scientists” talk at University of Northern Iowa, March 26, 2015

I’m excited to announce that I’ll be giving my talk, Get Inspired:  Four Brilliant Women Scientists on March 26 at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls. When I first started researching the history of women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), I assumed that it would be an easy, quick study. After all, sexism has held women back for centuries in every area, but especially in STEM. Still, I thought, Marie Curie couldn’t be the only remarkable woman scientist in the last 200 years or so. There had to have been others. Oh. My. Goddess. After 6 weeks … Read more

IBHA Performance

I borrowed this image from littlebighistory.com. Cool right? Recently, I got to perform at the International Big History Association conference. Funded generously by Bill Gates, this group “…seeks to understand the integrated history of the Cosmos, Earth, Life, and Humanity, using the best available empirical evidence and scholarly methods.” (From ibhanet.org) So – my work fits right in, since I use the scientific history of the universe as a frame and back drop for a comedic love story in my show, The Physics of Love. (http://jenniferjoyonline.com/physics-of-love) It was a fun performance!  

The SciArt6 Troupe

For several years, I’ve been working with the Association of Environmental Sciences and Studies (aess.info), bringing the arts to their conferences. This year, the conference is at Pace in NYC (June 11-14), so I decided to put together a troupe of NYC performers to create work inspired by the conference themes.  I was thrilled to find amazingly talented people who were also super-smart and able to read and understand the research that AESS members will present at the conference.  Together, we have created work that will entertain, inspire and inform.  The company: Benumerata Muhammad (Benu) is a slam poet, rapper, … Read more

Global Warming and the Polar Vortex

You may be looking at this weather across much of North America and thinking, well, so much for global warming! That’s a relief. We’re gonna freeze to death, but at least we won’t boil to death! Actually… it turns out that global warming may be the culprit for this cold weather. The first thing to remember is that our global climate and weather systems are quite complex. When new factors are introduced, such as the heating effect of carbon and other greenhouse gases, the effect won’t simply be “it’s warmer”. For example, it will be warmer, but it will also … Read more

Creativity in the Business of Being an Artist

I had a wonderful time this fall on my school tour. It always feels so delicious to just be an artist. By that I mean, very specifically, engaging in activities like writing, editing, rehearsing, collaborating and performing. There are no other experiences like it for us writer/performers. There are no experiences that provide such satisfaction and peace. Of course, making art can be full of conflict and high drama, don’t get me wrong! But those of us that stay with it do so because it provides us with a sense of being exactly where we are supposed to be in … Read more

The Biochemistry of Love: A Recipe for Addiction?

I went to a party for polyamorous people recently. What can I say, I was curious. It was at a big house in Bayview-Hunters Point in San Francisco. And no, it wasn’t a sex party! It was a pig roast.  And everyone kept their clothes on, more or less. There was a clothing swap in one room, and people kept whipping off their clothes to try on other clothes, but only in that room. (I found a really cute polka-dotted corset myself. I paired it with a skirt the hostess had given me – b/c I had come in black … Read more

Seneca Falls and the Women’s Rights Park

After my show last Wednesday in upstate NY, I drove to Syracuse – 140 miles. In the rain, on country roads. Yikes! I thought I’d sleep in a bit on Thursday, but no luck. I gave up and got on the road. I ended up being really glad that I had. Along Highway 90 from Syracuse to Rochester, there is a little town named Seneca Falls. My interest was immediately piqued. Seneca Falls, of course, was the site of the first Women’s Rights Convention, in 1848. Anyway, I turned off the highway, drove into town, and found this: A National … Read more

Alfred University: Radical History and Exciting Interdisciplinarity

Another stop on my college performing tour has been Alfred University. It’s another place where I’ve learned more NY history. I had no idea that upstate NY was so full of radicals, dating back into the 1800’s! Alfred University was started in 1836, and it was co-educational from the beginning. Further, it became racially integrated in the 1850’s. Needless to say, both of these were unusual for the time. I had a great time with the students. I did an improv workshop, and the show, and hung out with the students after both. This is a group of deep thinkers! … Read more

SUNY is Super-Cool in Pretty Potsdam

This week, I had gigs at SUNY Potsdam and Alfred University. My gig at Potsdam was on Wednesday, then I was due at Alfred, 285 miles southwest, by Thursday afternoon. More on Alfred later. First – I had a terrific time at Potsdam. What a pretty town, especially at this time of year! And the students were wonderful. Jack McKenna worked really hard to get all the details together to host me. The students who did the tech on my show were terrific too. Alexa was especially stunning in setting up and running lights. It’s such a pleasure to perform … Read more

Is There Intelligent Life Out There?

The Endeavor shuttle, now moth-balled at the CA Science Museum in LA. I love the idea of space travel! Gravity plating, warp drive, transporter devices… who wouldn’t step onto the Prometheus or the Enterprise in a second? Of course, the reality is different. Astronauts who spend any significant time in space often experience bone loss and loss of muscle tone. Most disturbingly, the heart seems to get weaker and smaller. So that’s why I prefer the sci-fi version of space travel. Beam me up! Or wait… if Whitley Streiber is right, they may already have… what do you think? Is … Read more

Naming Hurricanes

This week’s post comes to you courtesy of 350.org – and funny video about naming hurricanes. Go to http://climatenamechange.org/

BioArt: Drawing Attention to Biotech

A couple of weeks ago, I went to a great Leonardo Art-Science Evening Rendezvous (LASER) at UC Berkeley. These events feature 4 20-minute presentations by 4 different artists and/or scientists. At the UCB event, one of the presenters talked about bioart. That’s art that is made from living tissues or one-celled organisms. The artists literally grow the art, shaping it as it develops. Sorta like landscaping, but with bacteria. Very tiny landscaping. Anyway, SymbioticA in Australia does some very funky work in this area, like these worry dolls: Why create objects from living tissue or organisms? Artists have always drawn … Read more